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Pampered childhood spells woes

London: Have had a happy childhood? Be prepared to go that extra mile if you want to make your marriage a success. Children who enjoy a happy and stable childhood are more likely to divorce later in life, says a new research.

The study by a team at the Cambridge University has found that people with a stable upbringing could have more confidence and so be more ready to leave a failing relationship, a UK Daily reported.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Felicia Huppert, director of Cambridge’s Well-being Institute, said: “One factor might be that positive children have higher self-esteem than their peers and are more willing to leave a marriage if it is not meeting their needs.”

Other findings were more predictable, she said. For example, it was found that happy teenagers went on to be content in their work, have more hobbies and busier social lives. They were also much less likely to suffer from psychiatric problems in later years.

So, is it true that those with a happy childhood do not give their best to sustain a  relationship? Problems may arise if one goes on making constant comparisons between one’s spouse and parents, say experts. Psychiatrist Dr Advesh Sharma says, “Childhood memories are deeply embedded in your memory. If your parents never fought with each other, showered you with love and attention, and made sure to fulfil your needs, your expectations from your partner will go up.

When emotional needs are not fulfiled, people feel discontent and reject a relationship in its initial stages only.” Dr Sharma says that many of his patients expect their spouses to be like their mother or father. “That’s a very immature thing to do,” says the psychiatrist who advises that instead of seeking the same level of comfort your parents gave you, analyse if you have invested enough in the relationship or not.

But marriage counsellor Dr Kamal Khurana says the research findings are not really disappointing. “A person who has had a happy childhood will be a happy worker at the workplace, and would seek a happy marriage. If his feelings are not being reciprocated by the partner, it’s a better idea to walk out of such a relationship than suffer,” he says.

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